Rocks in My Dryer has a really fun post up asking people to share their stories regarding famous people. Having lived in L.A. for four years, I have LOTS of sightings, but only a few good stories.
Here are the ones that make me chuckle.
My biggest claim to fame is accosting Reese Witherspoon in the meat section of a Von's grocery store one 4th of July several years ago. It was my first time buying beef other than ground, and I was overwhelmed by all the different types! Beef Loin? Shank? Beef Chuck Short Rib Flanked Style Boneless? Holding up a package of meat, I asked the woman standing next to me if she knew what the heck the description meant, and if it'd be good for grilling. She laughed and said she had no idea, she was at just as much of a loss as I was, and was having trouble picking something herself. We laughed, I turned back to the cooler with a sigh, and finally grabbed something thin and flat. As I turned to leave, I got a better glimpse of the woman, who was wearing a giant hat and sunglasses, and realized it was Reese Witherspoon.
Most of my life I grew up thinking I was related to Ulysses S. Grant. My Great Grandmother told us that Grant was her father's uncle. Supposedly her father inherited quite a bit from Grant's estate when he died, but he refused to accept it because Grant had once spanked him as a child, and he had never gotten over the injustice of someone other than his own father spanking him. As a child I imagined the life of grandeur I could have had if only he had taken the inheritance! A few years ago we discovered, after extensive research by an Aunt, that Grant was most likely just having an affair with a family member, and the children were required to call him Uncle, as was tradition back in those days. So much for my presidential lineage!
Then there's the time I stalked Oscar de la Hoya around a museum I worked at. As he walked through, he kept looking back at me suspiciously. But in my defense, I didn't know it was him until after he left. I just thought he was a really hot guy. I was young and single!
Oh, and my very first famous person sighting after I moved to L.A? That caused me to crash into a Jaguar? None other than Patrick Renna (the red-headed kid from Sand Lot), getting ready to cross Ventura Blvd. I must have gawked a little too long while my foot was on the gas pedal. The driver of the Jag, though, took total pity on me, and let me off the hook (there was only a scratch). I'm not sure if it was the way I looked, fresh from Oregon and awkwardly wearing a suit, or if it was my beat up and bumperless VW Jetta (which had flown off during my move to the big city), but something triggered mercy in that man. I would have been willing to pay damages for a sighting of, oh, Brad Pitt or Gael Garcia Bernal, but Patrick Renna?
I just remembered one more! When I moved to L.A., I lived with a friend named John. His previous roommate had been Puck, from MTV Real World fame. I even had to throw his old bike away that he left on the back porch. After several years, and long after John and I had parted ways (the skeez), I ran into Puck in the grocery store (the same store that I saw Reese at!). I went up to him and told him that I had been John's roommate after him, and we stood in the store exchanging horror stories for a good 5 minutes. The girl he was with was so not impressed, and when her pouting didn't work, came up and grabbed his arm. I'm really not the type of girl to get jealous over, so I thought it was hilarious that she minded little ol' me talking to her man. But it was nice to vent with someone who understood what I had gone through.
That's it! I won't bore with all the other sighting stories. For some more reading, though, head over to Rocks in my Dryer and read the comments to her Degrees of Separation post.